Calamity: Farmers panic as mysterious infection kills camels

Pastoralists in West Pokot County have raised the alarm over an unknown disease that is killing camels. 

Many camel deaths attributed to the disease have been reported in West Pokot sub-county as farmers call on the veterinary department to help identify, treat and contain it.

Affected areas are Kangwechaan, Kasei, Kodich, Kangiletian, Simwach, Kesot and Tipet.

Kacheliba MP Mark Lomunokol, who is a large-scale farmer of camels, claimed the disease was spreading fast. He called for intervention from the Government.

Speaking in his constituency, Mr Lomunokol said camels would stop grazing after contracting the disease, become weak then die.

"This disease is really wiping out animals, especially camels. I have lost two camels to this strange disease. It is causing panic among pastoralists," he said.

He appealed to the Government to send veterinary doctors to the county to curb the spread of the disease. 

Lomunokol said there could be more deaths if the veterinary doctor’s team did not get to the county in time. 

The legislator said the region relied on dairy farming for income and the outbreak of the infectious disease was likely to cost farmers millions of shillings.

Daniel Krop, a farmer who has lost his two camels, said it was difficult to get cash since he relied on animal produce to earn a living.

“We are staying in fear because we might lose all camels. Our animals are dying and we don’t know what’s killing them,” he said. 

West Pokot County Director for Veterinary Services James Merisia said the sick animals were examined and found to be lacking some minerals.

“The animals lack calcium and salt. We are still following up to see what the problem is, but we have treated some animals,” he said.

Dr Merisia said vets had been sent in the area with medication.

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